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Golden Gecko
Gekko ulikovskii

Various Gecko pics

My First Gecko
The Golden Gecko or Gekko Ulikovskii can be found in many pet stores. It is native to Malaysia prefering heat, high humidity, and lots of trees to climb. My Golden Gecko is very skittish and bites, but others say they are very good pets. They are a pretty gecko, that require moderate space and are easy to maintain. Golden Geckos are a relatively small lizard attaining a length of just over 9".
Golden Gecko-Gecko Ulikovskii
Life Span-
Temperment/Handling-Semi-Aggressive, Skiddish
Hardiness-Hardy as long as basic needs are met
Housing-At least a 10gal for one gecko, though a 20gal would be suitable for two or three. Use a screen lid for this species can and will climb glass constantly. Never cage males together because they will fight. I use a sand/soil/peat mixture for substrate in my enclosure; yet others prefer a newspaper or an astroturf bottom. This an arboreal species therefore climbing branches and cork bark should be placed inside the cage. Also provide a hide spot for each occupant, that's big enough for them to stretch out, including a hide box half filled with moistened vermiculite or spragnum moss to help facilitate with shedding. These will keep them from being as stressed. Finally a water dish and maybe some pothos should be added to help keep up humidity in the cage.
Enclosure maintenance-Papers should be changed every couple weeks, removing fecal matter when needed.  Soil substrates can be changed every couple months, removing fecal (poop) matter when necessary.  All cage items should be cleaned with a dilution of 1part bleach to 30parts every few months making sure to thoroughly rinse.  Water should be changed daily.  Check all electrical devices as often as possible to help prevent fire hazards.
Lighting-This is a nocturnal (on the move at night time) species requiring no UVA/UVB lighting, but it can't hurt.  I use fluorescent and a basking or incandescent bulb suspended above one end of the enclosure. Never let the lizard touch the bulb itself, for this can cause severe burns. The lights should be left on 12hrs a day throughout the summer months and 9-10 hrs a day in the winter.  I recommend keeping all lighting on a timer, it saves the hassle of manually turning on and off the lights every day.
Heat/Temp-The daytime temp should be 80-90F.The nighttime temp should be between 75-85F. Temps should be slightly cooler in the wintertime.  Always allow a cooler end to help with thermo-regulation. A reptiles surroundings determine it's body temp, so they move from end to end as needed. Heating options include, under tank heaters covering about 1/2 to 1/3 the length of the tank, heat tape, or a basking bulb in a ceramic fixture over head. Never use hot rocks, they often concentrate extreme heat causing severe burns.
Humidity/Water-As a tropical species, the humidity should be kept high. Heavy misting daily should help. Also include a water dish and even some pothos to help keep humidity up.
Diet/Food-As a general rule food items should be no larger than the width of the head. Commonly used food items include commercially raised crickets, meal worms, wax worms, and various other insects. Wild insects are readily accepted, but make sure they haven't come in contact with any pesticides.  All food items should be gut loaded (fed a nutritious diet of various greens, potatoes, and cricket food) for at least 24hrs prior to feeding. Insects should be supplemented or lightly coated (the easiest way is in a plastic bag) with vitamins and minerals.  The proper use of supplements can lead to a happier, healthier gecko and reduce the risk of metabolic bone disease. I use Rep-cal Calcium/vitD3, Herptivite, and  Miner-All.  All can be found at any pet store. Babies should be offered food items 1-2 times daily. Juveniles should be offered food items daily. Adults should be fed 5-6 times a week. Remove most free roaming food items if not eaten within 15-20min. A few remaining insects should not hurt, as these geckos hang out on the glass most of the time where crickets can not get to them.
Sexing-Adults are pretty easy to sex. Males have a V-shaped row of enlarged pre-anal pores and hemipenal bulges at the base of the tail. Females have pre-anal pores that are a lot less obvious and are lacking the hemipenal bulges.
Other-These are the first geckos I ever owned. Lets just say they started it all.
Disclaimer-Everything on this page is a matter of my personal opinion.  This care sheet is merely meant to help get you started.  Always do lots of other research and do what is in the best interest of you and your pet.
Last Updated-03/06/03 Aaron Downing  
Suggested Reading
1995 Barron's Educational Series
*Reptiles Magazine
Various Authors & Issues